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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawOnline Visa on Arrival System to Be Rolled Out in Thailand

Online Visa on Arrival System to Be Rolled Out in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing visas-on-arrival here in the Kingdom and it recently came to my attention that Immigration Authorities here in the Kingdom are rolling out a visa-on-arrival online platform.

Presumably those that are looking to come into Thailand and utilize a visa-on-arrival can go online to go ahead and affect that. There other countries in the region that already utilize a system similar to that being proposed, for example Vietnam, but it looks like Thailand is going to be rolling out something similar. This news comes relatively quickly on the heels of the news that various activities that were associated with visa-on-arrival system, including fast-tracking which was associated with various types of gratuities, had come to an end at Immigration checkpoints. This is sort of all happening within the sort of transitional phase that seems to be occurring within Immigration as a result of changes specifically to the Head of the Immigration Department, but also there seems to be sort of inherent policy changes being made both of an enforcement variety as well as from the standpoint of just general policy guidelines that are occurring within Immigration.

The thing to take away from this video is the visa-on-arrival system was being streamlined. There was not going to be any more preferential treatment allowed for so-called fast-tracking of VOA applications at ports of entry here in the Kingdom. But as an upshot of that I'm sure that there was some backlog associated with those rather major changes so it looks to me like the Immigration Officers, or the Immigration apparatus I should say, is trying to rectify that situation by rolling out this new program. 

In a recent iteration of the Nation, nationmultimedia.com, the headline of this article is: “Fast Entry Online Visa System for 20 Nations Launched at Thai Airports”. That was published on November 21st, 2018. Quoting directly: "Immigration Bureau Acting Commissioner Police Major General Surachate Hakparn, on Wednesday officially launched the e-Visa on Arrival, E-VOA System, that is expected to cut visa processing time to as little as 1 minute." Those who are interested in this information go ahead and check out that article directly. There is some more interesting information in there. 

The thing to take away from this video, I'm assuming this hasn't had the kinks worked out of it entirely as of yet, so it's probably safe to assume that it's not going to be usable within the next week or two. But I do think that probably within 2019 this system will be fully vetted and we'll be looking at seeing people coming into the Kingdom using the E-VOA system relatively frequently especially for those Nations that have visa on arrival compacts with Thailand I think this will probably become a regular part of coming into the Kingdom for those using that type of travel document to enter.